What Are Trends in Curricular Development?

March 26, 2024
March 26, 2024 Terkel

What Are Trends in Curricular Development?

In the ever-evolving landscape of education, leaders in curriculum development are identifying key trends that promise to reshape learning environments. From the insights of a President & CEO highlighting the focus on individual student outcomes to additional perspectives, including the importance of interdisciplinary learning, we’ve gathered a spectrum of views. Here’s a look at nine pivotal trends shaping the future of curriculum, as explained by industry experts and supplemented with additional answers.

  • Focus on Individual Student Outcomes
  • Integrate Emotional Intelligence Education
  • Adopt Competency-Based Learning
  • Shift to Hands-On Learning Experiences
  • Teach Ecological Literacy and Sustainability
  • Emphasize Development of Critical Thinking
  • Incorporate Technology in Education
  • Include Global Cultural Competence
  • Move Towards Interdisciplinary Learning

Focus on Individual Student Outcomes

A key trend in curriculum development is an increased focus on individual student outcomes through specialized education. Whereas students with behavioral health wellness needs have long been candidates for an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, the lessons learned through those plans have highlighted the importance of recognizing the educational needs of individual students, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

While a student may not have a recognized behavioral health wellness need nor an official disability, their learning styles may benefit from non-traditional approaches to education. As an example, children with sensory sensitivities often possess above-average intelligence and flourish in non-traditional classroom environments that provide specialized instruction—often leveraging technology to aid their learning.

Beyond potentially unique learning styles, every student has unique interests, strengths, and career aspirations. Specialized education allows for the customization of learning experiences to cater to the diverse needs of students, enabling them to pursue subjects they are passionate about and excel in. Specialized education settings can provide a structured and supportive environment that is conducive to the learning and well-being of both students with behavioral health needs and students whose advancement is simply hindered by traditional classroom environments. These new environments may offer smaller class sizes as well as additional resources to help students succeed academically and socially.

Piper Phillips CaswellPiper Phillips Caswell
President & CEO, PHILLIPS Programs

Integrate Emotional Intelligence Education

Emotional intelligence and wellness education are becoming more integrated into curriculum development as a result of the growing recognition of the significance of holistic development. Along with academic material, educators are placing a greater emphasis on the development of social-emotional qualities, including self-awareness, self-regulation, empathy, and resilience. The goal of curriculum developers is to create a safe space where children can learn and grow, where they may overcome obstacles, form positive relationships, and succeed academically and personally. This trend reflects an increasing awareness of the link between emotional well-being and intellectual success, as the curriculum is geared to develop the complete child.

Timothy AllenTimothy Allen
Director, Oberheiden P.C.

Adopt Competency-Based Learning

The competency-based learning approach is a key trend in curriculum development that focuses on students’ mastery of skills and knowledge rather than their completion of courses or programs. It shifts the focus from teaching to learning, emphasizing the development of real-world skills and abilities that can be applied in practical situations. This approach allows for more personalized and flexible learning experiences, as students are able to progress at their own pace and demonstrate their understanding through competency assessments. It also aligns with the demands of the modern workforce, where employers value specific skills and abilities over traditional degrees or qualifications. Therefore, incorporating a competency-based learning approach in curriculum development can better prepare students for success in their future careers.

Pavel KhaykinPavel Khaykin
Founder & CEO, Pavel Buys Houses

Shift to Hands-On Learning Experiences

A standout trend in curriculum development is the shift toward hands-on learning. Just as in real estate, where practical experience is invaluable, educators are increasingly prioritizing immersive learning experiences. This approach, which includes simulations and real-world scenarios, equips students with the skills they need to thrive in their chosen fields. By blending theory with practice, curriculum developers are ensuring that learners are better prepared for the challenges they’ll encounter, mirroring the dynamic nature of real estate transactions.

Dino DinennaDino Dinenna
Real Estate Broker, Hilton Head Realty Sales

Teach Ecological Literacy and Sustainability

One notable trend in curricular development is the integration of ecological literacy and sustainability. Schools are now aiming to educate students about environmental challenges and the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems. This new approach to learning fosters respect for the natural world and the promotion of sustainable living practices.

As a result, upcoming generations are being equipped with the knowledge and values necessary to protect and improve the environment. Engage with these topics to better understand how you can contribute to a sustainable future.

Emphasize Development of Critical Thinking

Educational programs are increasingly placing a greater emphasis on the development of critical thinking skills. The goal is to prepare students to analyze information, question assumptions, and solve complex problems rather than just memorize facts. This shift is driven by the understanding that the ability to think critically is essential in an ever-changing world.

As a result, curricula are being redesigned to challenge students to reason, debate, and think independently. Challenge yourself to think critically about the information you encounter every day.

Incorporate Technology in Education

The incorporation of technology into education is a significant trend in curricular development. It is now common for classrooms to use computer programs, online tools, and interactive software to enhance learning. This trend recognizes the importance of digital literacy in the modern world and aims to provide students with the necessary skills to thrive in a technology-driven society.

Moreover, it allows for personalized learning experiences and immediate access to a vast array of information. Encourage the exploration of educational technology to enhance your own learning or teaching strategies.

Include Global Cultural Competence

Curricula are evolving to include a greater focus on global cultural competence. This trend acknowledges the importance of understanding different cultures in an increasingly interconnected world. By learning about diverse customs, languages, and perspectives, students can become more empathetic and effective communicators across cultural boundaries.

This prepares them for successful collaboration with people from various backgrounds in their future personal and professional lives. Take the opportunity to learn about different cultures and consider how it enhances your global awareness.

Move Towards Interdisciplinary Learning

A move towards interdisciplinary learning approaches is taking shape in modern curricular development. This means that instead of studying subjects in isolation, students explore connections between different areas of knowledge. This approach reflects the real world more accurately as it promotes a more holistic view of how various disciplines interact and impact one another.

Consequently, students learn to apply knowledge in broader contexts, preparing them for the multifaceted challenges they’ll face. Foster an interdisciplinary mindset to see the bigger picture in all areas of study.

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